Do you love languages, culture, and learning?

Explore the world through language study in Yale’s World CLASS program!


About the Program

Since 1990, the Yale’s World Culture and Language After School Studies Program (World CLASS) has provided high school students from New Haven and surrounding towns instruction in a unique set of less-commonly taught languages and cultures—allowing students to stand out from the crowd while earning high school credit.

Classes are held on the Yale campus and meet weekly beginning in mid-fall and finishing in mid-spring. Courses are structured under the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The Yale Center for Language Study organizes at least two methodological and pedagogical workshops a year for the program’s instructors.

There are not many districts around the country that offer high school students the types of languages available through this program. As a result, students who complete the program are often identified as leaders within their schools and in the college applicant pool. In an increasingly globalized world, World CLASS provides skills that help students better understand and communicate with others. 


Learning a foreign language

As the forces of globalization bring far-off places closer and closer to home, learning a foreign language is an important contribution to becoming a global citizen.  Yale University and the World CLASS program are dedicated to making the language learning process as accessible as possible to the New Haven community, through learning languages critical to international politics and understanding current events.

Learning about a new culture

Fostering global awareness is an important initiative for the World CLASS program. Introducing high school students to new and potentially foreign cultures allows them to come into contact with new ideas at an early age that they can bring into future college studies, employment opportunities, and day to day cultural understanding and sensitivity.


  • Through World Class, students can expand their world view beyond New Haven, coming into contact with a wide variety of diverse and interesting cultures.
  • World Class students also attend field trips, such as viewing the sakura cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, allowing them to experience the culture of the langauge they are learning outside of the classroom.
  • Taking a language course at Yale not only allows students to get a glimpse of life on a university campus, but also prepares students for future college language study, and helps strengthen their college applications by showing dedication to and interest in international cultures.
  • Students from the New Haven Public Schools, and from some other districts, receive high school credit for successfully completing a World CLASS course.
  • Students receive a certificate at the end of the program, documenting their study of the language.


Read coverage of World CLASS:

World CLASS is a collaboration among the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, the Center for Language Study, the Office of New Haven Affairs, and the New Haven Public Schools World Languages Program.